IN COURT: MAGISTRATE DENIES
BAIL FOR RAPE ACCUSED MAHARAJ
Abus driver charged with 11 counts each of rape was denied bail by the Navua Magistrates Court yesterday. Parmendra Maharaj, 37, on various occasions between May 17 and June 29 allegedly raped a 16-yearold student. Maharaj appeared before Magistrate Seinileba Levaci. Defence lawyer Mohammed Afzal Khan asked the court to release his client on bail because he has a prosthetic leg which needs medical attention twice a day to prevent any infection. Mr Khan also said his client would not interfere with the prosecution witnesses because he comes from a reputable family.
Police Prosecutor Divisional Prosecution Officer Nasario Fisi objected to bail and told the court that the case was of public interest and also for the protection of the community it would be in the interest of the accused to be remanded in custody. Ms Levaci denied bail and because it was an indictable offence the matter has been transferred to the High Court in Suva. The court has been adjourned to July 14. Edited by Naisa Koroi
Parmendra Maharaj outside Navua Magistrate Court yesterday. Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau